Guest Blog: A Volunteer’s Story

Barry from Dublin volunteered here at Barretstown for the first time at the end of March this year. Volunteering at a family camp, Barry got to work directly with our amazing campers. Barry is in the back row on the right of the photo along with the other fantastic volunteers from his weekend.

In our guest blog this month he tells us about his experience…

As a first time volunteer Cara I was nervous bordering the bus at Heuston station heading to camp. It had been a few months since I completed training so a lot of thoughts were running through my head. Will I be good at this, how will the family react to me, how will I fit into camp. I can tell you from the minute you arrive all them thoughts vanish as soon as you sit down to breakfast on arrival. You are put at ease right from the off by activity leaders, caras who have been to camp before and all the staff. The training on the morning of arrival eases you in even more and gets you into the fun mind set you will carry through for the  rest of the weekend whilst also reinforcing the serious aspects of your training. The morning flies by then its time to sit and wait for your family!! I guess nerves kicked in a bit here but as soon as family 1 arrives everything just falls into place.

We had 2 families in our cottage both of whom could not have been any nicer to us!! It really does feel like you become part of their family for the weekend. You just naturally find yourself doing whatever you can to help them enjoy and relax on their weekend. From the activities to dinner banquets to Cottage time the weekend absolutely flies by. Before you know its Sunday and time to say goodbye to the families. I think that’s the biggest compliment you can pay Barretstown – you are having such a good time with the campers, their families and the other cara’s that you just don’t notice time going by.

I highly encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to do so as soon as possible!! I have already signed up for my first summer camp this summer!!

In 2013 over 900 amazing people volunteered with Barretstown and played a vital role in helping the families we serve. We are always looking for new volunteers, especially males volunteers, so if you would like to find out more about volunteering at Barretstown click here.